Thursday, December 27, 2012

A stranger in the darkness

The veil of darkness that shields my vision of tomorrow hides that which places me now in peril. The cold metal against my skin begins to melt as my hand slides with the new dampness. I feel the pounding of my heart as the blood pushes through my frame, my arms suddenly tired from the tenseness that has gripped me. Again I announce my challenge and again my reply is the silence of black mountains.

A sound, a whoosh unknown to me breaks the stillness and is answered with a whimper. Its reply is a scamper, the sounds of digging claws fade as they rustle the dead leaves that litter the ground. My observer has retreated into the boundless darkness and I stand alone once again.

"You had best not stand alone tonight without a fire."

The suddenness of the voice chills my skin and I now tremble with a new fear. Then before my eyes a shadow emerges from the darkness, movement as swift as a summer stream and quiet as a breeze upon an open meadow. I step back, the lump now in my throat a rock I may not swallow. I see a giant emerge as the darkness parts and before me stands a tower.

"Best not to be wandering these parts by yourself."

My silence lingers as I look up to one who is larger than anyone I have ever seen. Another step away as I feel the angst of the moment, my fear of the unknown welling from the darkest places within my soul.

"I am Authurn, of the north." My new companion lowers his arm, his weapon now riding at his side. "And who might you be?"

"I am Clancy of the three valleys."

"Well Clancy of the three valleys, it is time for a night's fire. There are things you need not meet in these lands. The new moon shelters them, gives them safety and free hunting. In these mountains before the plains, night becomes the huntress."

"Who, what are you? Your words ring true to my ears."

"What am I?" The sudden sound of haughty laughter fills the hollow spaces within the trees and renews my spirit. "Why, I am a man, of course." 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A fold of night

This day does end with a new vista presented to these wandering eyes. The Sirris has now closed behind me as a picket fence upon my neighbor's abode. Its passages, now faltering beneath the fading light of day begin to close their secrets to the outside world. The lowland valleys lurk in obscurity as their high cousins glow by the slim light of a crescent moon.

Before me lays an expanse that begins a new world; a world that has never before been seen by those of my lands. The darkness hovers above the landscape as the light fades, the sun retreating behind the Choale as night takes its hold on the eastern world. My sight dims in the night airs and I may only guess at the vastness of open plains that lay in the folds at the feet of these mountains. Only a new day shall reveal their secrets as one night longer I shall be forced to reside within its coffers.

A sudden snap from the growing darkness brings my attention back to the passes. I raise my rod across my breast in defense of what may linger in the gathering twilight. My senses perk at the revelation, my skin is flush with new blood, the hair on my flesh standing on end. My peaceful excursion is shattered as I raise a defense against the unknown. My bravado withers in the darkness as sneers and huffs and puffs hang in the airs. My first challenge may be my last. I slide my hand beneath my wrap and steel my nerves as blade rings free from its scabbard.

"Stand down," I shout. "Do not trifle with me this night. I shall abandon your world and seek refuge in the plains come the dawn." I await my answer, but my answer never comes.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Far side of the mountain

It was a time ago that I plotted this lofty challenge of mine, to see this world in all its glory. Though to say that I have plotted wisely would be foolish. Little did I understand what trials would await my daily foray. This first week has lowered its weight upon my shoulders and I feel neither the great expanse before me nor the comforts of home behind. I have nothing save what I chose to put upon my back.

The grounds below my footfalls slip and slide with sideways steps, soft to the touch as my boots sink within their muddled puddles with grasses slick as winter's ice. Yet each night my back finds no such comfort as hollow reeds give way to jagged stone. The comforts of home elude my flesh as the spokes of the Sirris prod my very being. Yet each new morn I arise with a renewed sense of the hunt; a lustful wanderer caught in a spider's web.

With each new sunrise that dims the heavenly stars and lifts the covers from the night sky my eyes fill with wonderment. I behold new revelations in the mundane sights that held no interest within my confinement. As I look ahead, between the mountain passes the shadows that rise from the world's core become their own sentinels and are no more. The Sirris fades, its quiet domain soon to relinquish its hold over my sense of place and I shall see what new paths define my world.

What is on the other side? I shall soon see.